Bennett Kaspar-Williams, a Los Angeles resident, discovered he was trans about ten years ago in his 20s.
After a spectacular event made him realize that he had to live his truth and break free from the stereotypes holding him back and encircling his life, Bennet finally began the transition process three years later.
Just like most people who follow their heart and choose love, Bennett only began the transition process once he met his now husband Malik, who he married in 2019.
He discovered that he could be the person he wanted to be and have it all without any obstacle or setback getting in the way of his happiness.
Bennett already knew that he wanted to start a family with Malik, so beginning the transition was a process he was ready for, and nothing was going to stand in his way.
Or at least, that’s what he thought. Little did he know what was about to come was far from a path strewn with roses.
Two years after beginning hormone treatment, in the summer of 2015, Bennett underwent surgery to remove his breasts with the procedure costing him $5.000. However, it was all worth it.
He says it took the operation to make him realize how unhappy he was about having female breasts, and the entire process was really liberating.
Bennett says he had this feeling that it was something that he needed to do. Bennett felt emancipated once he began transitioning. He had found love, and now he had finally found himself.
After a lifetime of hiding his true self out of fear of what others might say, now he could rest assured that there was someone who loved him for who he was, no matter what.
Bennett firmly says that he never had self-hatred for his female breasts, as some trans people sometimes do. He had no dysphoria about certain parts of his body and still doesn’t today.
However, the main theme throughout the experience is how he could never have anticipated the relief he would have to find them gone.
It felt like a huge weight was off his shoulders. He also said that his breast removal was the end of his surgical road when it came to transitioning and that his bottom half was off the table.
He felt liberated, and the surgery was like a confirmation that he could carry on with his life being who he had always known he was.
The couple intended to start a family and began discussing their options before deciding to try the natural route. Bennett had to discontinue his testosterone hormone medication.
Bennett’s ovaries were able to function as a result of this. It was a necessary step about which Bennett, however, had some doubts. He wasn’t a hundred percent sure about it.
The decision to carry and give birth was not a straightforward decision for Bennet. He knew it was a possibility that his body might achieve pregnancy, but it was something he battled with for a while.
But that changed after a long thinking process when he learned to separate the function of his body from gender notions.
Bennett claims that the process of trying to conceive, being successful, and eventually being pregnant did not pose any challenges to his gender identification.
However, there was one thing that made him uncomfortable: and that was how medical professionals assumed his gender the entire time. This would soon prove to be a big, big problem for him.
Bennett says once he learned to think of his body as a tool and not a collection of gendered stereotypes, he realized that he could be both the person he wanted to be and be able to bring a child into the world.
However, unfortunately, not many people understood that properly. And more than once, Bennett came across some people who kept proving their own ignorance.
Since Bennett decided to take that leap to conceive naturally, the rest was up to his body to do what needed to be done.
He says that no one could ever really know whether having children is possible until you try. However, it was his dream to have a baby, and he was willing to go all the way with it.
Being born with a uterus does not give you the certainty that you will be able to conceive or carry a baby full-term. He continued by saying that none of these things are universally true.
However, he wasn’t willing to give up. He wanted to give it a shot and try to conceive by any means necessary.
Bennett found out he was pregnant in March 2020 after falling pregnant naturally without any medical intervention other than coming off hormones.
He says they expected the process to take longer than it did; however, everything happened quicker than planned. He was absolutely ecstatic when he heard the news. Still, there was a long and potentially difficult process ahead of him.
The couple was over the moon about the soon-to-be new addition to the family. However, 2020 was when the world was also overwhelmed by not only a pandemic but also by lockdown and isolation.
Due to this, his high spirits were sometimes replaced by anxiety and anguish about how he would keep himself and the baby safe.
“Lockdown has meant going to a lot of check-ups on my own. Nurses and doctors have been brilliant. I think I’m their first trans pregnancy, but everyone has been very open and understanding.”
“We know the sex of the baby, but we won’t announce that until after the birth,” declared Bennett. And he had his own reasons for that.
“There’s something about society’s obsession with finding out a baby’s gender, which is a bit too much,” he explained to the media when a reporter asked him about it.
“Once they’re born, we will use the pronouns that correspond to their sex, but we will make it clear they don’t have to accept those labels,” Bennett concluded.
Bennett discovered that he was pregnant a week before they went into lockdown, so the pressure of lockdown, pandemic, and safety made him nervous.
However, everything turned out well in the end. Bennet and Malik welcomed their beautiful baby boy Hudson via cesarean section in October 2020. The couple was absolutely elated, but something else happened.
While in the hospital, Bennett says he was constantly misgendered. Even though he had a beard and a flat chest, the nurses and medical staff could not be bothered with using the correct pronoun for him.
This was quite a nuisance for Bennett. After all, he had gone through to accept that his body didn’t necessarily have anything to do with his gender, it seemed like the hospital staff didn’t care at all.
The only thing that made Bennett dysphoric about his pregnancy was the misgendering that happened to him when he was getting medical care.
Even though he had a full beard and a ‘male’ gender marker on all of his identification, nurses could not help but default into calling him ‘mom’, ‘mother’, or ‘ma’am’, which was extremely annoying.
It wasn’t just annoying. It was more than that: it was hurtful. The whole incident made him even more dysphoric about his identity.
It went so far as to erase the hard mental work he had done in separating his gender from being able to give birth. All those months and even years of reflection suddenly didn’t seem to matter.
Bennet says nothing about being pregnant felt ‘feminine’ to him. In fact, carrying a child, isolated due to the pandemic and facing all the hospitals and appointments alone, was the absolute toughest, bravest thing he has ever done.
Nothing feels stronger than being able to say, ‘I am a dad who created his own child.’ That carries strength and depth in itself.
No one can ever really know whether having a child is possible until you try. These are words Bennett told himself during his process of giving birth. He also kept in mind that it is very important that we stop defining ‘womanhood’ in terms of ‘motherhood’.
This might seem like a convoluted thing to understand, but it’s really easy. This is what he means by that:
It’s a false equivalency that all women can become mothers, that all mothers carry their children, or that all people who carry children are mothers. There are many people like Bennett who were able to give birth while being a man.
Bennett basically redefined the norm of what motherhood means and how there is no connection between womanhood and motherhood.
One expression Bennett uses to challenge these stereotypes is “the business of pregnancy”. He reiterates his stance about it being a business, and he does so for a reason.
The entire institution of pregnancy care in America is centered around selling this concept of ‘motherhood’ being intertwined with gende, which makes it hard to escape being misgendered.
Bennett’s experience with the medical staff misgendering him is what made him speak out against the prejudice most trans people receive on a daily basis, not only from medical staff but from people in general.
However, this event was only a minute setback that didn’t tarnish the immense joy he felt about conceiving and giving birth.
Bennett says the best thing about being a dad is seeing Hudson share his new discoveries daily. “It is beautiful to see how unclouded children are by prejudice,” he explained to the media.
“When he discovers he can do something new, he runs over to me shouting ‘Dada!’ that is my best moment”, he confesses, visibly moved.
Bennett also adds, ‘Children are these amazing beings that don’t see the world with the same bias and preconceptions as adults do’.
To his son Hudson, having two fathers is the most natural and normal thing in the world. Those are the two people who brought him to the world and who are going to be by his side throughout all of life’s avenues.
“To my son, there is nothing more natural than having a Dada and a Papa, and when he is old enough, he will come to know that his Dada was the one who carried him and took care of him, so he could come into this world,” he says.
Clearly, Bennett’s story can teach us all a lesson of tolerance and a non-prejudiced spirit.
“Children see love, patience, and commitment. My son will no doubt accept that he came from me, just as he accepts all the other love and beauty around him with open arms,” Bennett concludes.
Those are the words of a Dada hoping only for the best for his son, not different from any other person that has brought a life to this world.